That being said, my wife works in the hotel industry and what those analysts are saying is that this summer and the year as a whole will be comparable to last year. Other studies have indicated that leisure travel will stay consistent. The middle class over the last several years has shown an increase in travel and number of vacations taken. I fit right in with that. I took several 5+ day weekend trips last year and I am doing the same this year. I think it is more likely that we will see a collapse next year.
Economic downturns make economies more competitive, as discretionary income becomes scarce. That's why it is so important for theme parks to have new offerings this year, not just attractions and shows, but with dining, special events, tours and customer service.
Recession or not, gas prices are a real show stopper right now.
Gas prices do suck don't they. They will not however, get in the way of my escape from reality/leisure time. I get about 30 mpg in my vehicle, so skipping about one night out to dinner will take care of the extra money for gas, and I will still go to the park. I have a feeling that we may be paying out the a** for gas for a while, so might as well get used to it.
I've also found it interesting that some of the negative reviews left by foreign visitors have borne an eerie echo of my own opinions about at least Orlando, and often the other Sea World parks as well.
If the speculation about increased visits here from overseas turns out to be true, I'll be looking forward to more reading along these lines.
I just got back from Orlando, and I'm already bored and ready for another trip. For the record, we took a group of eight and split the gas eight ways. We drove down from Ottawa, Ontario, and it cost each of us about $80, or $640 total, if I'm not mistaken.